Friday, May 07, 2010

Who Are They Kidding?

I got my copy of "The Connection" ... the Budget Edition ... in Thursday's mail. Several items grabbed my attention for their attempt to spin the details into something more palatable than the reality.

On page 1, under "Budget Highlights" it says "the proposed budget adds scheduling flexibility for high school seniors." Translation: Course offerings were cut & seniors are encouraged to go home after attending the minimally required number of classes! NOTHING was "added"--  but much was subtracted.

On page 1, it also states that "the average Greece homeowner would pay $150 more in school taxes next year if the proposed budget is approved, or $105 more for those with the basic STAR exemption." Translation: The average Greece homeowner lives in a house that is valued at quite a bit more than the $100,000 used to define "the average Greece homeowner" in the district's example AND the STAR reduction is a lot like milk you've bought on sale for the last 5 years at just $1.49/gallon! If it stays on sale long enough, it becomes the regular price! If this was Wegmans, the Atty General would intervene for falsely advertising "a sale" that wasn't a sale.

The footnote on the above item states: "Calculations are based on a home value of $100,000 and assume that the homeowner has not recently been reassessed ." Translation: Since the "average Greece home" exceeds $100,000 (the value GCSD has used for more than a decade!) in value AND TWO of four wards are currently undergoing reassessments, the $105 figure applies to almost no one! YOURS WILL BE HIGHER ;)

Also on page 1 is this statement: "Even though a significant tax rate increase is being proposed, school taxes have steadily declined in recent years." Translation: "Look at how good we are at diverting your attention away from the growth in the overall budget which was $14 million more when we started this year, but this time, it's REALLY going to cost (hurt) you!"

I could go on and on and on ... but I won't bore you. I'm sure you get the picture by now.

What's important to remember is that the BOE didn't make the right cuts. They didn't cut enough overall. Expecting us to roll over and swallow a 7.6% increase is insane!

On May 18th ~~ 

Vote NO on the Greece School Budget!

Vote NO on the busing proposition!

(We don't need more buses with declining enrollments & under-subscribed buildings! Make them study it first ;)

Pull Levers 6 & 7 for Grinnan & O'Toole


Anonymous said...

Bus proposition? We already voted on that 3 years ago and that was to be the end of it for a while.

Anonymous said...

You are right about the bus purchase Scats. It says they have no intention of reducing bussing.

This taxpayer is getting damn tired of being USED.

Anonymous said...

I've seen the cuts in the classroom - where are the cuts in "administration"? All these Directors, Assistant Superintendents, Special Assistants, Administrative Assistants, Analysts, Coordinators, Program Managers, Community Relations Managers, Specialists,.............................................................................................
They just go on forever. We are so top heavy! I have all the respect in the world for Principals and teachers - but all the pencil pushers need to take a walk.

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

Just to clarify the bus deal.

We have a fleet of approx 205 buses. These are put on a 9 year replacement plan. This means that every year there will be 25 buses that need to be replaced. The state drives how long a bus can be in service. Last I knew we got approx 75% back from the state on bus purchases. They are not growing the fleet just replacing ones that have reached there end of life.

SCATS said...

C'mon Jeffrey! The 75% that the state pays comes from where? OUR OTHER POCKET!

With declining enrollment and the need to cut expenses, most especially transportation, we don't "need" more buses. Have you seen, gas is over $3/gal again ;)

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

I understand that we are paying either way. I was just explaining the replacement process.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey ~~ Why bother bringing up state aid reimbursement ratios at all, unless you're trying "to sell" people on the idea of bus purchases?

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

I just wanted the public to understand.

A previous poster said "We already voted on that 3 years ago".

Buses will be on the vote every year.

Even if we reduce the number of buses we have we will have to replace a certain percentage every year.

We cannot have buses that are 20 years old. State law prevents this.

george hubbard said...

May 7, 2010

The District needs multi-year performance goals... and these need to be adopted by the Board of Education. So said Joe Grinnan at Candidates Night.

Imagine... accountability to students and the community to raise 4yr graduation rates from 80%... to 85% or better.

On May 18th, don’t say no - to Joe ‘GO’...

Vote for Joe ‘GOALS’ Grinnan on Line #7.

George Hubbard

Anonymous said...

Jeff; if the fleet is now 205 busses then the GOAL should be 175 for next year with NO purchase.

Why are you accepting that NO changes are going to be made? We now have the study and we plan to do WHAT with it? Did we just waste money on this study?
If the district is planning no changes then the taxpayers have been had AGAIN.

Let me make this very clear. If you plan to increase our kids class size and continue this insane spending - YOU ARE INCOMPETENT.

Anonymous said...

Joe is not #7 Gayle O'Toole is

george hubbard said...

Whoops - Joe 'GO' Grinnan is Ln #6.

George Hubbard

SCATS said...

Note To Geo. Hubbard ~~ Comment Moderation is on. That means you will have to wait until I'm at my computer to read and post comments. Spamming me with 20 comments, all the same, will only p*ss me off. You don't really wanna do that, now do you? :D

Anonymous said...

I would love to see grad rates increase to 100% but I am wondering how any BOE can do that when educators across the state are trying, and cant come close. The only way I see it happening is if GED and IEP diplomas were counted as part of the whole. Let me know how that works with NYSED. Great promise sound bite but it means nothing. HMO and Geo Hubbard along with all current and past BOE's wanted the same and were unable to do it. In my opinion all it is is a nice soundbite for any candidate.

Anonymous said...

Re "the proposed budget adds scheduling flexibility for high school seniors" - must be all of those years of using a broken math curriculum has finally caught up to the district. Subtracting courses now equals added flexibility! I'm all for seeking out the silver lining, but who are you kidding with this kind of doublespeak?

Anonymous said...

Scats please explain your endorsement of O'Toole.

Anonymous said...

Note to 4:42. BOE's don't make the changes. Like and Board they set goals and the Chief Executive Office (in this case the Superintendent)is charged with the changes. The SUpt is the one with the staff., the one with the expertise; if we had goals, every candidate would know coming in what was expected of him/her. Those who don't have a plan or (hopefully) a track record of success on the goals wouldn't apply.
Just another side benefit of having goals for our School District. It sounds like Joe Grinnan is on the right track.

SCATS said...

To 6:43PM ~~ I did explain on a different thread earlier this week. But here goes, just for you ;)

She sometimes brings up the right issues and/or asks the right questions. Unfortunately, she doesn't always go far enough. I do not believe she supports retaining Achramovitch and that is a plus by itself! He is not good for Greece, the district or the students. Compared to the other choices, I'm willing to go with the devil I know (and agree with on at least some issues), instead of the devil in sheep's clothing (did I mix that metaphor thoroughly? lol) represented by people who are likly wanting to keep Steve around.

george hubbard said...

To: 4:42pm

Let’s follow the lead of 7:05pm above... let’s share some data... I’ll go first.

1. NYSED data for June 2009 - 4yr grad rates...

2. For 17 suburban districts in Monroe County, 15 districts range from 82% to 96%... average 86%.

3. Two districts below 80%... Greece at 76%.

4. Question: Doesn’t NYSED data show that Joe Grinnan's proposal amounts to a BOE goal... for Greece to achieve in the future... what surrounding districts already achieve now?

Okay 4:42pm... the next move is yours.

Anonymous said...

Not original on my part as i believe it has been stated before.

There is NO concern about these stats at Greece because everyone responsible were given raises.

Anonymous said...

Last page of that notice calculates budget figures under a contingent budget.
My understanding is those figures represent the MAXIMUM contingent buget allowed by state regulations. They do not state that.
I called the district to clarify; got sent to a voice mail and my call has not been returned. I'll follow up if they respond.

I hope any one running for the school board understands they have the option to respect the voters and propose a budget more reflective of community wishes.

Graehaven said...

Is there a site one can visit to find out more about these people running for BOE, for those of us who cannot go to the Wednesday night meetings since we work?

Do ANY of these candidates support ousting the current Super? Do any of these candidates support cutting the the Administrative staff of GCSD by 10 percent, then cut all salaries by 10 percent?

Do any of these candidates support cutting the overall budget by a true 10-20 percent (not cut the expected increase by that)?

Does anyone running for BOE have an ounce of common sense?

If they're not willing to do these basic things, right from the start, then they are unworthy.

Anonymous said...

To 5:pm I fully agree with you. Calling a decrease in options of courses for high school students "flexibility" is like telling a laid-off worker he has more "leisure time".
It will be interesting to see what happens next year after the 100 days that seniors celebrate when those kids have all that extra "flex time". Spring fever will take on a new meaning in Greece.

SCATS said...

To 8:23AM ~~ I wish you well with your "hopes." Sadly, we elect people who don't even respect the policies they write & adopt!

To Graehaven ~~ I just checked the GCSD website & they have not posted the Candidate's Night forum, unfortunately. They do have short bios about each candidate on there. Look under "news" on the first page and a link will take you to that. Otherwise, keep watch here for the "latest" ... usually ;)

To 10:34AM ~~ Your analogy is interesting since I compared it to an employee who gets his hours at work reduced from 40 hrs/week to 35 hrs/week ~~ "added flexibility" to his schedule is the reason his paycheck will shrink!?

Anonymous said...

Scats; is it wrong to ask what we will get for 7% MORE in taxes?

WE pay and pay and pay to get what?

The biggest part we pay for are contracts that are nothing but give-aways as one poster put it.

So I am saying NO MORE $$$$ for the same ol excusses, and no improvement. ENOUGH

SCATS said...

To 12:11PM ~~ No, it is not wrong to ask. But you probably won't like the answer! For your extra 7% property tax payment, your HS kids will have the "flexibility" to take FEWER COURSES and GO HOME EARLIER! All of your kids will have LARGER CLASS SIZES. They will experience more delays in building maintenance. If you want them to attend pre-K, you will get to TRANSPORT THEM YOURSELF! The list goes on & on & on of what you "will get" for your extra 7%.

By the way, a BOE member claims I have "an intense hatred" for Greece schools when I tell people things like what I just wrote above. I responded that I have an "intense hatred" for spinning the news to pass the budget anyway possible ;)

SCATS said...

BLOG Administration is rejecting publishing a disparaging comment directed at a named private citizen. Go vent elsewhere, please.

george hubbard said...

Post 7:02pm is on track... so says training available to school board members.

1. BOEs have the authority to GOVERN school districts – set goals & objectives, and expectations.

2. By contrast, Superintendents have the authority to MANAGE school districts – to meet BOE expectations and report back results.

3. By design, the model for school districts follows the model for corporations – the Board of Directors is distinct from the Chief Executive Officer.

4. School boards should not MICRO-MANAGE school districts!

Thanks 7:02. I hope Greece community voters (District shareholders) understand better why they need to elect BOE members... who campaign on more than platitudes and good intentions... and then hold them accountable after they're elected.